The engagement activities include ‘drop-in’ sessions, an online ’Q&A’ with CEO, Professor Tim Orchard, and a dedicated website and survey. Flyers promoting the activities are being distributed to local residents and businesses, and the activities advertised via local and social media.
A world-renowned teaching and research hospital, St Mary’s opened in 1945, and is the busiest of London’s four major trauma centres. With its academic partner, Imperial College London, the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust also hosts the country’s largest NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. The Trust has warned, however, that its ‘sprawling patchwork of ageing buildings’ – half of them older than the NHS – are now ‘in such poor condition that a major building failure is likely within four to seven years’. St Mary’s Hospital, and the Trust’s two other main sites, Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals, are part of the New Hospital Programme. A new Western Eye Hospital is also intended to be included within the most suitable of these developments.
Following the Government’s decision last May to delay the main capital funding for its schemes, the Trust has been working with the New Hospital Programme to explore ways to keep its redevelopments on track, particularly St Mary’s, where it says ‘the need is so urgent’. With the possibility now of funding to embark on detailed design and planning for St Mary’s in the coming months, the Trust is especially keen to widen early involvement in the development of its plans.
Professor Tim Orchard said: “The St Mary’s estate is simply no longer fit to support the modern healthcare our staff, patients, and local communities deserve. To continue to play our key role in London’s healthcare system, and meet the growing and changing needs of our local communities, a complete rebuild is essential. We also want the redevelopment to support further regeneration of the area, including an expansion of the increasingly impactful Paddington Life Sciences – the cluster of businesses and other partners around St Mary’s focused on improving health and healthcare. Our vision is for a new, state-of-the-art hospital in a landmark building within a healthy and welcoming neighbourhood. It’s vital we involve as many patients and local residents as possible – as well as our staff – in shaping and realising this vision.”